Title 3 of 1986 Superfund Amendments Reauthorization Act (SARA)established the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). EPCRA contains three major provisions: planning for chemical emergencies, emergency notification of chemical accidents and releases, and reporting of hazardous chemical inventories and toxic chemical release reporting. Data on chemical inventories and releases is compiled into the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) that then becomes public information. By improving knowledge of chemical releases, the TRI improves understanding and decision making by the public and government. Public knowledge of the risks that facilities located in their communities pose may, among other things, help reduce exposure or enable more informed public input. In many cases, the knowledge and publicity surrounding TRI reporting have induced facilities to lower their emissions. Today, new proposed rules would further lower the threshold reporting requirements for persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemicals, expanding the TRI data.
Minnesota and several other states have gone beyond EPCRA’s requirements, adding additional sites that must report toxic releases.